Simulation Research Fellowship 

This is a two-year, project-based, longitudinal experience focused on developing excellence in the areas of teaching, assessment, curriculum development, and simulation research. Applications are accepted every other year in late spring, with new fellows starting in September.

This fellowship is designed to enhance the participant's expertise in education and research related to simulation. Fellows will work closely with simulation faculty to develop skills in curriculum development, including design, implementation, and evaluation of simulation-based educational programs. Fellows will also develop expertise in the fundamentals of adult learning theory, including debriefing learners at all levels of training and in varying disciplines. Fellows will have the opportunity to examine theory that supports best practice, design and conduct a research study, and create a manuscript suitable for publication. The Simulation Research Fellowship Director will provide guidance in research design and technical writing throughout the process and assist the fellow with his/her research project. 

The research fellowship program is funded as a 10% commitment (0.1 FTE; 4 hrs/week for 104 weeks). Funding for fellows who are employees of Cleveland Clinic is provided by the Education Institute (through inter-institute transfer). Please contact the Simulation Fellowship Director, Dr. Erin Higgins (, with any questions about the fellowship or application process.
Applicants should be full time CCF employees, hold a nursing or medical degree equivalent to the RN, NP, CNM, MD, DO degrees awarded in the U.S., or other allied health profession degrees, with a minimum of two years in clinical practice and high motivation to pursue advanced training in simulation-based healthcare education and research.

  1. To acquire an understanding of the administrative and operational aspects of leading and managing a simulation center.
  2. To become familiar with key processes in educational quality assurance and accreditation requirements for a simulation center.
  3. To understand and apply the different types of simulation technology.
  4. To understand theoretical framework of simulation-based medical education and gain proficiency in curriculum design as it relates to simulation in healthcare. The specific goal will be to design and conduct an educational training using simulation, including a debriefing session.
  5. To understand the theoretical framework of simulation-based medical research and gain proficiency in research design including development of a study idea, literature review, design of experiments, basic statistics and technical writing. The specific goal will be to design and conduct a research project using simulation and prepare a manuscript suitable for publication.

Applicants must complete an application that clearly describes the proposed fellowship simulation training project and research project, both endorsed by their department leadership. Projects must address a need amenable to using simulation as an educational tool, and must be aimed towards health professional students, residents, fellows, and/or practicing clinicians.

  • Cover letter (including educational achievements and career goals)
  • Current CV
  • Structured, brief Education Project proposal (maximum five pages), including: title, aims/objectives, methods, supporting literature, plan for evaluation of outcomes, and plan to continue simulation educational activities after the fellowship
  • Letter of support from applicant's department and institute chairs, specifically stating the department's commitment to the proposed fellowship application and that the appropriate time will be made available to the applicant to accomplish his/her fellowship goals and planned project. Nursing and allied health candidates should have letters of support from their department manager endorsed by Chief Nursing Officer or Institute Chair.

Application should be sent to the Simulation Fellowship Director, Dr. Erin Higgins (

Previous Simulation Research Fellows


Dr. Darlene Lobel


Optimization of simulation based and live surgical training in neurosurgery


Dr. Ibrahim Sammour


Simulation-based teaching of neonatal mechanical ventilation, and evaluation of ventilator breath delivery mechanics in a BPD lung model


Dr. Nirosshan Thiruchelvam


Simulation vs Traditional Training on Mechanical Ventilation for Medical Residents


Current Simulation Research Fellows


Dr. Sofya Asfaw


In-Situ Simulation for Multidisciplinary Education and Preparedness in Trauma



Dr. Mohamad Chaaban


Developing a structured endoscopic sinus and skull based surgery curriculum using 3D printing and augmented reality technology